We sat down with the Heatwave Interactive team to get more details on in-game personal estates, crafting and more.
During our time at the Game Developers Conference, Editor-in-Chief Darryl "Togikagi" Gangloff had the opportunity to sit down with Executive Producer Anthony Castoro and Lead Designer Tim Schubert to discuss the ambitious estate system that will implemented in Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising at launch. We also talked about the game's crafting system, fast travel options, the quest tracker and more.
To kick things off, Schubert launched the game client and showed us a grass-filled zone with some houses and an impressive lake. “This entire map is yours,” he said. “It's like housing on steroids. It has game benefits. It's a backbone to the adventuring you're doing in the game.” Check out some images of estates in our gallery.
Your estate is tied directly to your character's progression. As you level, you'll be able to complete quests to upgrade the buildings on your personal map, gain access to more NPCs and minions, and so on. These buildings will have a positive effect on your character. For example, upgrading your temple may give you more power with your deity.
It's interesting to note that the estate is account-wide, which means all of your characters have access to it. “Let's say you decide to roll an alt. You'll get the benefit of your level 2 library and you'll keep all your minions. It lowers the grind of leveling alts,” Castoro said.
Schubert continued to emphasize the important role an estate will play for your character. “We want the game to orbit this thing. This is your ultimate character progression,” he said. You'll even be able to invite your friends to visit the map and check out your upgrades.
To demonstrate how closely the game is tied to the estate, Schubert gave the example of defeating a hydra and then placing it in your lake. “It lets us do some fun things that have a virtual world feel,” he said.
However, Schubert made it clear that the estate shouldn't be considered a mini-game. “We're trying to avoid micro-management. It's not FarmVille,” he said. “You can spend a lot of time on it if you want, but it will push you into the world to do more quests.”
Both Castoro and Schubert said that they have big plans for the estate post-launch. Players can expect more customization choices, a resource system design (imagine quarrying marble to build pillars), and tie-ins with senate politics and PvP.
Schubert then switched gears and discussed the crafting system, which is currently in development but will be available in the game at launch. “Crafting will stem off the estate,” he said, giving the example of your blacksmith doing work for your character.
“The idea is to create something systemic that's unique,” Schubert said. It's focused on collecting the correct types of components to make gear and items. He hinted that if you collect the best components and do everything just right, you can make some great equipment, although there will be a little bit of a random factor involved.
"Getting the ingredients is part of the hack and slash game,” he continued. “You have to buy it from players or get items and dismantle them for components.” You're going to be expected to break down epic quality raiding goods into their base components, but doing so will allow you to build the equipment that best suits your character.
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